What you need to know about dog flu

Canine Influenza (Dog Flu) continues to threaten our pets: there are 413 known positive cases in the US right now, up from just over 180 at the beginning of the 2018 calendar year. This infographic has helpful information to help you keep your pup healthy.

Uncomplicated Canine Flu cases can cost pet parents an average of $797 (for treating symptoms like coughing). For severe cases requiring hospitalization, costs can start at an average of $1,157 (respiratory tract illness). Costs based on 2017 Petplan claims data.

According to Petplan Advisory Board Member, Dr. Ernie Ward: “There are a lot of myths, a lot of misperceptions out there, so I want to set the record straight and make sure we do everything we can to save our pet loved ones. This is an outbreak and this is shaping up to be one of the more concerning outbreaks we’ve had in recent history.”

Click here to read Petplan’s blog (authored by Ward) for more information on the dog flu.

Click here for more information on the current Canine Flu outbreak numbers provided by the California Veterinary Medical Association.

Treat your pup with a special homemade treat!

If you love to spoil your dog, you’ve come to the right place! Our furry companions are constantly showering us with love and affection, so why not reciprocate the adoration? For their next birthday or special occasion, make them something special and delicious like a dog cake! Dog cakes or pupcakes, are a tasty way to celebrate and the ultimate photo op.

With special thanks to Personal Creations, they have provided 15 dog cake recipes you can create for your fur child. From a meat lover’s cake to a yummy coconut berry cake your pooch’s tail will be wagging when they taste your treat!

Let us know if you try any, and what your pup thought of it!

Budget Friendly Tips for Your New Rescue

If you have decided to give a dog a second chance by rescuing them from a dog shelter or rescue group, good for you! Not only can you feel great about the choice you made to save a life, your new family member knows you gave them a second chance.

It is tempting to rush to the store and fill the cart with every new toy you can find to make sure that your new dog feels welcome and loved. Hey, if you have an unlimited budget, go for it!

However, for many of us, a new pet can be a little more expensive than we had anticipated. In order to be sure you have the finances for the initial and ongoing costs associated with dog ownership, you may want to be conservative on that initial spending spree.

Here are some tips to help you make sure that your new dog won’t end up costing more than you can afford:

Crate Training

Consider crate training your dog as soon as you bring them home. If using a crate is the new “normal,” your dog is likely to quickly adjust to using a crate. This means you can leave them home alone while you go to work, right from the start.

A crate not only provides your dog with a space that feels safe to call their own, it will also keep them from getting into trouble chewing on furniture, drywall or getting into other dangers while they adjust to their new surroundings. It also keeps you from having to replace furniture or other items – a completely unnecessary expense of dog ownership.

You can get a used crate pretty cheaply online if a new one is out of your price range. Just make sure to take it outside and thoroughly clean it with 1/10 bleach/water solution to disinfect before use. Fill it with clean, soft stuff like old towels and blankets for a welcoming and safe cubby hole your new dog will appreciate.

Affordable Food – Not Cheap Food

There is a difference between quality dog food at a decent price, and cheap dog food that is of very low quality. It is important to be able to tell the difference since saving a few bucks a month now is not worth the long term medical costs of poor nutrition.

There are a few things to look for to make sure the diet you will feed your dog is both in your price range, and good for them:

Real meat (not meat or poultry by-product) is the first ingredient
Try to avoid corn, soy, or wheat as top ingredients
Look for the AAFCO seal of approval for nutritionally balanced food
Look for manufacturing in the USA, and evidence of responsible ingredient sourcing

DIY Toys

It is important that your new addition to the home has some toys to call their own. However, you do not need to break the bank with the top of the line gear right away. Instead, get a sense for what kinds of things your new buddy is into with some cheaper versions or DIY toys, and save your investment for primo gear once you really know what they love.

Here are some tips on some toys your dog doesn’t even know are free:

Blue jean leg cut lengthwise and tied in 2 knots for a great tug toy.
Tennis balls are free if you find them discarded at the tennis courts. Your dog does not care if they are flat.
Large plastic bottle with some holes cut in it just bigger than their kibble for a fun food dispenser.
Sticks. Before there were dog toy stores, dogs apparently loved these things!
Pupsicle. Get a stainless-steel bowl, fill half with water, freeze, layer some treats or kibble, add more water and freeze again. Layer as many times as you want for a great outside hydrating and cooling edible toy for a hot day.

Veterinary Costs

Responsible pet ownership does require vaccines, spay/neuter and annual wellness visits. Fortunately, if you rescued your dog from a shelter or volunteer rescue groups, it is likely that they may offer some vouchers or special programs to help make these costs more affordable.

Make sure to talk to the people where you rescued your dog from to let you know about financial help they can offer on the necessary costs of health for your pet. They are likely also “in the loop” about special low-income vet programs that may be operating in your area.

Consider Fostering

If you are not quite sure if you can afford responsible pet ownership yet, you should consider researching the foster groups in your area. In many cases, these foster organizations are willing to pay for things like veterinary care, pet sitting, bedding and in some cases even the food for the foster dogs in their program.

This is a way to get involved in helping a dog find their second chance in life, without taking on more financial responsibility than you can handle. If you have a stable home that allows pets, and a schedule that will give them the time and love they deserve, fostering may be a great choice for you!

BarkFest on NatGeoWild

The Olympics are going to have some four-legged competition this year, with Nat Geo WILD’s fourth annual BarkFest event kicking off the same night. For the first time, BarkFest will span an entire week, including coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — aka the dog Super Bowl. Other premieres include stories of incredible dog heroes, the science of canines and the people who love them and a special canine-themed episode of The Incredible Dr. Pol.

BarkFest premieres Friday, Feb. 9, 8/7c on Nat Geo WILD. For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com.

The pick of the BarkFest litter is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show coverage, including the Road to Westminster Dog Show, an unprecedented all-access look at the journey to Best in Show, premiering Sunday, Feb. 11, 8/7c. The series follows dogs and their handlers as they prep for the biggest competition of their year. See what it really takes to train a top dog — from handlers to dog diets to dog hotels. Watch the action of the qualifying rounds, then tune in for the main events: the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and Masters Agility Championship at Westminster on Nat Geo WILD and on FOX sister networks (see below for full schedule).

“I’ve never been happier to say that Nat Geo WILD is going to the dogs,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD. “We look forward to BarkFest every year, putting out our best-in-show programs to honor man’s best friends and all the people who love them.”

We can’t wait for all the amazing shows. Here is the line up:

Science of Dogs
Premieres Friday, Feb. 9, 8/7c
Think you know everything about our canine companions? They have been used as castle guards, rescuers, hunters, fashion accessories and herders. There are 400 breeds and counting, from the three-pound Chihuahua to the 270-pound bullmastiff, and dogs have the largest morphological differences of any animal species on the planet. The Science of Dogs provides an in-depth look at man’s best friend. With updated science and even stories of dogs that drive, you will be running to the nearest shelter to get one of your own. Join us as we explore why dogs truly are man’s best friend.

Road to Westminster Dog Show
Premieres Sunday, Feb. 11, 8/7c
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show predates the invention of the lightbulb, the World Series and the Brooklyn Bridge. The tradition began 140 years ago, and now for the first time we have unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the months leading up to Westminster, where the real story begins. We follow top contenders, comeback stories and beginners who are just understanding what it takes to be Best in Show. There is no prize money for top dog, just bragging rights — so why do they do it? Road to Westminster Dog Show is a peek behind the curtain of “the dog Olympics.”

142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, LIVE Daytime Sessions
Day One Premieres Monday, Feb. 12, 1/12c
Day Two Premieres Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1/12c
Watch the world’s premier dogs compete in the preliminary rounds for the ultimate title of Best in Show. Day one features judging of the hound, toy, nonsporting and herding groups. Day two features judging of the sporting, working and terrier groups.

A Dog Saved My Life
Premieres Monday, Feb. 12, 8/7c
Man’s best friend comes to the rescue when their humans need it most. Two real-life survival stories are told with eyewitness testimony, dramatic reenactments and expert insight into how these dogs became heroes. First, a Canadian dogsled racer survived an attack by a bear thanks to one of his huskies. This brave animal waged an hourslong battle to keep the bear away from the tree where the badly injured man had taken refuge. Next, 80-year-old George Mitchell was kept alive by his dog after the two of them were trapped for hours in floods during Hurricane Katrina. Thanks to their canine companions, the two men made it out of harrowing situations alive, and with lifelong bonds to the dogs that saved them.

Master’s Agility Championship at Westminster, Encore Presentation
Premieres Wednesday, Feb. 14, 8/7c
If your kind of Valentine’s Day includes a big dose of puppy love, you’ve come to the right place. Watch the fur fly in our encore presentation of the Master’s Agility Championship at Westminster, where America’s swiftest canines run, jump and weave for the right to be called top dog.

142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Encore Presentation
Day One Premieres Thursday, Feb. 15, 8/7c
Day Two Premieres Friday, Feb. 16, 8/7c
Can’t get enough of Westminster? Nat Geo WILD will feature an encore presentation the day after the big event featuring the world’s top dogs competing for Best in Show at Madison Square Garden.

BarkFest also will feature Dr. Pol’s most beloved dog cases in The Incredible Dr. Pol: Be My Canine on Saturday, Feb. 10, 9/8c. From pit bulls and beagles to spaniels and Labs, Dr. Pol and his team fetch solutions for Fido.

The week is filled with special encore presentations of some of viewers’ favorite dog-related programming, including World’s Funniest Dogs, Unlikely Animal Friends: Barktacular, How Dogs Got Their Shapes, World’s Greatest Dogs and Super Underdogs.

PLUS sister networks FOX and FS1 join in the fun, with additional premieres that include:

FOX Broadcast Network Premiere
Masters Agility Championship at Westminster
Premieres Sunday, Feb. 11, 2/1c on FOX
The country’s top four-legged athletes attack an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and more in a timed competition to determine who is top dog. Don’t miss the premiere event in the fastest-growing dog sport in the country.

FS1 Premiere
142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show LIVE
Monday, Feb. 12, 8/7c on FS1
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 8/7c on FS1
Best in Show at Westminster is the most coveted dog award in the world. Day one’s presentation crowns the hound, toy, nonsporting and herding group winners, while Day two’s telecast names winners in the sporting, working and terrier groups, plus Best in Show.

We are excited to celebrate all things dog! Will you be watching?

This entry was posted in dogs, tv.